Holiday Lessons

PatternSquare06Chinese New Year is a big event in Vancouver, with people getting into the spirit regardless of heritage. During this year’s celebrations in February, it came up as a topic of conversation in our house. I asked my seven-year-old son which of his friends’ families were celebrating New Year’s. He looked at me blankly. I mentioned a name and this time he looked at me as though I ought to know better. He explained his friend was Korean, not Chinese.  Point taken. Ok, but wait a minute I said – our neighbours are Korean and hadn’t they been celebrating?

A little more research was needed.

So I now know that the lunar New Year in Korea is Seollal, and it’s a major celebration. However, Koreans also acknowledge New Year’s on January 1. So in a way my son and I were both right.  The real point, though, is that while the celebration of holidays allows us all to explore the traditions of each other’s cultures, the place we were born is never a guarantee of what we celebrate, or how.

- Debbie in Vancouver